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Poll: Big majority of Americans reject GOP claim that birth-control flap is about religious freedom

Efforts by Republican politicians and the Religious Right to frame the controversy over contraception as a matter of religious freedom is failing miserably, according to a NEW POLL:

Americans overwhelmingly regard the debate over President Barack Obama’s policy on employer-provided contraceptive coverage as a matter of women’s health, not religious freedom, rejecting Republicans’ rationale for opposing the rule. More than three-quarters say the topic shouldn’t even be a part of the U.S. political debate.

More than six in 10 respondents to a Bloomberg National Poll — including almost 70 percent of women — say the issue involves health care and access to birth control, according to the survey taken March 8-11.

(Snip)

Men are more likely to say contraception coverage is a matter of religious liberty, with 38 percent saying so compared with 28 percent of women who see it that way. Majorities of both genders — 57 percent of men and 68 percent of women — say the issue is one of women’s health and access to birth control.

While a majority of Republicans see the topic as a question of religious freedom, only 36 percent of independents and 12 percent of Democrats agree. By contrast, 60 percent of independents and 81 percent of Democrats call it a matter of women’s health.

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